SPECIAL EDUCATION AND RELATED SERVICES
The Board of Education recognizes that students with disabilities are entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The Board also recognizes that every child benefits from the provisions of an education as defined by federal and state law.
The Department of Education shall provide special education and related services to eligible students and be responsible for developing rules, guidelines, and/or procedures to implement the goals set forth below:
1. Provide access to educational opportunities and a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for each eligible student through the development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP), and ensure that all professionals and/or paraprofessionals providing services possess a level of proficiency to meet the unique needs of the student;
2. Work collaboratively with other state government agencies and private agencies to address the special education and related service needs of eligible students;
3. Provide staff development and teacher training. The Department shall also provide technical assistance statewide;
4. Provide services that increase and support positive relationships between the school and parents;
5. Ensure that all schools provide an inclusive and accommodating environment to meet the individual needs of students;
6. Provide programs and services in all schools for students with disabilities to learn and play alongside their peers without disabilities;
7. Develop Centers for Excellence that service students with disabilities alongside their peers without disabilities. Centers for Excellence shall be programs that train teachers and faculty on recognized best practices in scientifically based research on inclusive education.
The Department of Education is encouraged to develop multiple Centers for Excellence serving students statewide provided that the Centers for Excellence are located in schools that have students with and without disabilities; and
8. Ensure that all service(s) determined appropriate by the IEP team and the resources necessary to deliver those services meet the individualized needs of students.
Approved: 04/82; Amended: 03/88; 11/20/03; 02/16/06; 11/01/07; 11/4/10